To Overcome Offenses

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you. – (Proverbs 25:21-22, NIV)

If you see your enemy hungry, go buy him lunch; if he’s thirsty, bring him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness, and God will look after you. – (Proverbs 25:21-22, MSG)

Is your enemy hungry? Buy him lunch. Win him over with your kindness. Your surprising generosity will awaken his conscience and God will reward you with favor. – (Proverbs 25:21-22, TPT)

 

 

When we choose to give good to those who are not good to us, there is a softening on both sides. Often, it makes our hearts more tender toward the offender, and the heart of the one who chose unkindness toward us, to see us in a different light. Though I don’t see others as enemies, I do try to catch myself when I am hurt or offended by the words or actions of another. “How can I respond in kindness, despite that which I have been given?” This is not always an automatic reaction, and there are some offenses that make responding in love far more difficult. We are all a work in progress, and God’s grace is far greater than our own. When we seek Him for the strength and wisdom to respond according to His will, the outcome is far better than if we simply react. May we ever pursue the Lord and His love for people, so that we may surprise others with goodness and generosity that is not necessarily deserved.

 

When we receive rude, Pursue Righteousness and Love

Let’s love anyway;

As others choose hurt,

May we walk God’s way.

Generosity,

Extended with grace;

Can change the outcome,

Create new safe space.

For God will reward,

A generous heart;

Despite what’s given,

His grace He’ll impart.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we choose to love as You love us, despite what we are given by others, You intervene and move in the hearts of people. Thank You that while we were yet Your enemies, You did this for us, as You showed us Your kindness and grace, and brought us to a place where we could know and understand the depth of Your love. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected to choose to love and extend kindness to those who have not been kind to us. Teach us to trust You more, as You guide and direct our steps with Your wisdom and grace if we are willing to walk in Your way. Show us how to love the people around us, even those who make loving difficult. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they become aware of Your goodness and grace. Be glorified O God, as we choose love, regardless of what we are given, as You first loved us. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25

O My Strength, I’ll Sing

O my Strength, I watch for You; You, O God, are my fortress, my loving God. – (Psalm 59:9)

O my Strength, I sing praise to You; You, O God, are my fortress, my loving God. – (Psalm 59:17)

 

Psalm 59 was written by David when Saul had sent men to his home to watch him, in order that they might kill him. Despite the space of being pursued by those who were sent to end his life, David trusted in the Lord and was quick to call on His Name. David knew well, from where his strength and safety could come, and not only did he cry out to the Lord for help, but He praised God for who He is.

 

When we are standing in the storms, or feel as if the enemy is hot on our heels, do we too, watch for the Lord and praise Him? God is faithful and loving, and is our source of strength when we call on His Name. He is our fortress, our strong tower, to whom we can run, whenever we feel afraid. He is good, and we can always trust and call on the Lord. May we rely on the Lord’s strength as we watch for Him and sing praise to Him, because He is our space of safety and our loving God.

 

The Lord is my strength,Sense in Storms

I will watch for You;

safety and fortress,

protection that’s true.

O God, You are love,

my strength and my song;

to whom I can run,

when all things go wrong.

No matter what comes,

I’ll watch and I’ll sing;

for You Lord are good,

my Savior and King.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that no matter what comes, You are our Strength, our fortress, and our loving God. Thank You that as we watch for You and sing praise to You, our eyes and hearts are opened to the truth of who You are. Forgive us for not trusting, watching or praising when life’s circumstances become overwhelming. Teach us to trust You more, so that we call on You as David did, even if all seems to be against us. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too, may see the strength and safety that is available through You, our loving God. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we watch for You and sing praise to You, our strength, our fortress and our loving Lord. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

*A song that kept running through my heart and my head this morning as I wrote was:

Hungry (Falling on My Knees) by Joy Williams.

He Knows His Sheep

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know Me – (John 10:14)

 

Jesus was again addressing a crowd, trying to help them understand who He was, and what that could mean in their lives if only they would choose to believe for themselves. To be counted among His sheep, is everything. As the Good Shepherd, He lovingly guides us and knows us by name; yet fiercely protects us from the enemy, to the point of willingly laying His life down for ours. Our very human make-up has an innate need to know and be known. We are wired to be in relationship with our Good Shepherd. May we embrace the grace that He so freely gives, and seek to follow Him all of our days, as we choose to listen to His voice.

 

We are the sheep,Unfettered Forgiveness

of His pasture land;

granted His grace,

held up by His hand.

He calls our name,

and we know His voice;

kept safe from harm,

when He is our choice.

Not free from storms,

yet future’s secure;

promised presence,

His nearness assured.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Good Shepherd and that You call us by name. Thank You that when we choose to follow You, You help us to hear and know Your voice. Thank You that You lead us and guide us in Your love, and You willingly laid Your life down for ours, so that we have hope not only for today, but for all of eternity. Forgive us for becoming distracted by the dangers that lie outside of the pen of Your protection, and help us to fix our eyes securely on You, trusting that You are with us and will hold us steady, even in the strength of the storm. Lead us to love others as You so lavishly love us, and may many come to know You as their Good Shepherd too. Be exalted, Lord God, as we follow Your voice today. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

The Battle Belongs to The Lord

…This is what the Lord says to you: Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. – (2 Chronicles 20:15)

 

Though the original writing of this verse was God’s message to Judah as the enemy bore down upon them, God’s words still apply to us today. When all that would come against us seems to rise up, we need not fear nor be discouraged at the vastness of what lies before us. Ultimately, it is all in His hands. He goes before us, and He knows how it all ends. No matter the immediate outcome, our final victory is secure in Him forever. Our place of peace, even as we face that which appears daunting, is assured because He has gone before us, He is with us, and He surrounds us. We are not alone, and He will never leave us nor forsake us.

 

Do not be afraid,The Battle Belongs to The Lord

shun discouragement;

trust not in what’s seen,

but in heaven sent.

Every battle,

is God’s and not ours;

place each in the hands,

of Him who heals scars.

He takes what we bring,

and grants strength within;

the Lord is for us,

He knows where we’ve been.

Fear not, faithful one,

despite what you face;

our God is greater,

He’ll deliver safe.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not be afraid nor discouraged by what stands before us, when we have the assurance that You are for us, and will remain with us. Thank You that every battle we face is not really ours, but Yours. Thank You that You fight on our behalf, and that You supply all that we need for that which we are called to do. Thank You that You will never leave us nor forsake us, so we need not fear abandonment in the battle. Forgive us for our fear, as we fix our eyes on the obstacles before us, rather than on You, our Redeemer. Help us to focus on You, our strength and our solution, rather than that which robs us of the richness of all that our relationship with You offers. May we fully embrace Your grace, strength, and love as we walk forward in obedience. Let those who are looking, see You in us, and come into a saving relationship with You. Be exalted, Lord God, as we rely on You in every battle we face. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.

– Acts 2:28

 

 

Conquering Fear

Into the Wild, is the title of the series my pastor is currently presenting.  The premise of the teachings is that God is calling us to join Him on an adventure.  This adventure, this journey Into the Wild, requires trust and movement on our part.  Yesterday, Pastor Jon spoke about conquering fear.  In order for us to move, we must overcome the fear that would try to hold us back.

Fear is one of the most commonly used tools of the enemy, to prevent us from moving forward in faith.  Fear tells us we can’t, when God is calling us forward, offering His strength and His supply, as we are being asked to step out where we cannot complete the journey all on our own.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” – (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT)

God has not called us to be fearful nor afraid, but He grants us power by His great love, and leads us in the ways in which we are meant to go, so that we may do that which He has called us to do.  Our struggle is a matter of which voice we choose to hear.  Will we listen to the still small voice of truth, that tells us to keep moving, even if we seem to be standing in the desert when we were promised a place of lush and fertile land, or do we listen to the lies that tell us to turn back, to stay in the safety of what is known, and never step out beyond the borders of where we currently dwell?

Abram would have never become Abraham, the father of a great nation, had he not continued to move further out Into the Wild as God called Him.  Often, the time between the promise spoken and the promise realized, is determined by when we actually take obedient steps of faith.  May we each choose to listen to the still small voice, and then boldly step out Into the Wild, wherever He is calling us to move.

May we listen,Conquering Fear

let us each give ear;

the still small voice,

that conquers all fear.

Let not the lies,

take hold in our heart;

they tend to stop,

what we’re meant to start.

Be courageous,

let His power reign;

God is with us,

that will never change.

Into the wild,

may we boldly go;

sharing His truth,

so others may know.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that no weapon formed against us will prevail when we place our trust in You.  Thank You that in You, there is not fear, for You have defeated all darkness that could come against us.  Thank You that You love us and grant us grace that is far beyond what we can fathom, and that You continue to lead us forward, even when we fail miserably.  Forgive us for our failures, our fearfulness, and our lack of faith, and grow in us an unwavering faith that always trusts in You.  May we live in love as You love us, and may many come to know Your mercy and grace, so they too may choose Your still small voice of truth.  Be glorified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

Worry’s Worth

When trouble comes, or difficulty is looming ahead, it is in our own strength, impossible not to worry about what we are meant to do, or how to see things through.  However, when we slow down and give it to God (through earnestly seeking Him), we are better able to gain His perspective, and worry seems to give way to faith.

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” – (Luke 12:25)

Worry, according to dictionary.com, is to torment or harass with cares, anxieties or trouble.  Interesting word choice, as it sounds much like what we are told is the objective of the enemy of our soul.  That being said, the antonym for worry, is reassurance, which essentially, means FAITH.  Faith is found when our relationship with the Lord is sound.  The more we know Him, the more we are assured of His goodness, faithfulness, and His promises to never leave us nor forsake us – the very things that combat worry.

Worry not,Worrys Worth1

when troubles come;

great is He,

the Faithful One.

Cast your cares,

unto the Lord;

trust in Him,

all faith afford.

No good comes,

where worry lies;

anxiousness,

defeated cries.

By His strength,

victory gained;

perspective,

in Him, remain.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Overcoming One.  Thank You that we can cast all our cares upon You, and trust in You – reassured that You are faithful to Your promise to be present and provide what is needed to see us through.  Thank You that You are always good, and that You can use every circumstance for our ultimate good – even when it seems no good will ever be found.  Forgive us for our worrying ways, and help us to press into You.  May faith rise up and silence the whispers of worry that try to freeze our hearts with fear.  Help us to walk confidently by faith in You, and may many come to know the blessed assurance that is found through faith in You.  Let those who are looking, be led into the safety of Your loving grace.  Be glorified through the love lived out in the lives of we, Your people.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.